Causes of Macular Hole
A large percentage of macular hole cases seem to develop suddenly without obvious causes. Due to this reason, we are unable to prevent the development and formation of this condition. However, data suggests that individuals above 55 years of age are more susceptible to forming macular holes. Females are also more likely to develop macular holes as compared to males.
External factors such as injury or trauma to the area near the eye or head have been known to lead up to the formation of macular holes.
Certain bodily or eye conditions may also increase the risk of macular hole formation. Diabetic eye diseases have been known to contribute to the likelihood of forming macular holes.
If the patient has a high degree of myopia, over-stretching of the retina or too much traction from the vitreous gel centrally may be a possible cause. Changes in the eye may also be a likely cause. As we age, the vitreous gel that fills the inside of the eye can shrink. As this vitreous gel shrinks, it may effect a certain force on the retinal surface and may cause it to pull away as the gel shrinks. This force is known as “vitreous traction” and sometimes may cause a retinal detachment or a macular hole to form.
Formation of a macular hole in one eye only is common, but in individuals that have formed a macular hole, the likelihood of the other eye developing a macular hole is estimated to be 5-15%.
Macular holes can go away without treatment, but there is significant risk for it to worsen if left alone. Macular holes are classified in 3 stages:
- Foveal Detachments: Risk to worsen – 50%
- Partial Thickness Hole: Risk to worsen – 70%
- Full Thickness Hole: Almost all worsen without treatment.